The wild brunch: Skye Gyngell's hearty mid-morning meals

Fresh fruit, simple, natural produce - and soft, fluffy pancakes...

Sometimes I rather shamefully suggest people do things I don't do myself. One of them is breakfast. I have spent years suggesting to my eldest daughter that she eats something in the morning, yet I can't remember the last time I ate anything then myself – coffee suffices. I do, however, find that by around 10am I am starving, and this is when I eat my first meal of the day. That's why brunch is one of my favourite meals.

In the summer, fruit is what I crave – cool and gently sweet accompanied by yoghurt, toasted muesli or honey. Pancakes are delicious and indulgent, and I adore simply grilled sourdough bread with either ripe tomatoes, olive oil and plenty of crunchy sea salt, or topped with fruit.

Skye Gyngell is head chef at Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, Richmond, Surrey, tel: 020 8605 3627,

Bananas, strawberries and ricotta on sourdough

For some reason, this dish reminds me of my home town of Sydney – I think perhaps because it is quite Australian in feel. Sydneysiders love breakfast and on the weekends all the cafés along the beach are spilling out with people hungrily eating after a swim in the surf.

Serves 1 (just multiply the amounts according to how many are eating)

1 slice of 1/2-inch-thick sourdough bread
2 tbsp of very fresh ricotta cheese
1 banana, peeled, sliced in half lengthwise
4 strawberries, sliced in half
1/2 tbsp light flavoured honey, such as acacia
A tiny pinch of salt
A squeeze of lemon juice

Grill the bread until golden- brown, spoon over the ricotta, arrange the banana and strawberries on top and drizzle over the honey. Finish with the smallest crumble of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Pancakes with raspberry butter and maple syrup

Serves 6

150g/5oz softened butter
1 punnet of raspberries
125g/4oz plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp caster sugar
1 egg
170ml/6fl oz whole milk
Maple syrup, to serve

First, make the raspberry butter. Put the butter into a clean bowl and beat using a wooden spoon until light and slightly paler in colour. Using the back of a fork, slightly mash the raspberries and then stir gently through the butter, then set aside while you make the pancakes.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre, crack in the egg and pour in the milk and whisk until smooth. Rest for 15 minutes. Now heat a small non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and brush with a little butter (be careful not to let the butter brown). Spoon a ladleful of batter into the centre of the pan, turn down the heat slightly and cook for two minutes. Once bubbles begin to appear on the surface, turn the pancakes and cook for a minute on the other side. Very often the first pancake is less than perfect, but don't be disheartened: this is completely normal.

Serve hot from the pan with a spoonful of raspberry butter and as much maple syrup as you feel like.

Poached peaches and gooseberries with Greek yoghurt and rosewater

These peaches are clean and refreshing, gently sweet and delicate. They should be served very well chilled.

Serves 4

1 punnet of gooseberries
4 ripe peaches or nectarines
11/2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp rosewater
Greek yoghurt, to serve

Wash the gooseberries well, remove the top and base, which are prickly and coarse, and place in a saucepan. Tear the peaches in half using your fingers and discard their stone. Place in the saucepan along with the gooseberries and add the icing sugar and rosewater. Place over a very low heat and cook, stirring every now and then until the fruit is soft but not falling apart. Remove from the stove and allow to cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge and chilling for two hours.

Serve alongside a little thick and creamy Greek-style yoghurt.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Investigo: Financial reporting Accountant

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: One of the fastest growing g...

    Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luton – £25k

    25,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luto...

    Investigo: Group Financial Controller

    £50000 - £55000 per annum: Investigo: A growing group of top end restaurants l...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Excellent opportunities are available for par...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
    Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

    24-Hour party person

    Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
    Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

    A taste for rebellion

    US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
    Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

    Colouring books for adults

    How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
    Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
    Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

    Call me Ed Mozart

    Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
    10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
    'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

    'I am a paedophile'

    Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
    Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

    From a lost deposit to victory

    Green Party on the march in Bristol
    Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

    Winter blunderlands

    Putting the grot into grotto
    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

    London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
    In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

    Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

    Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
    The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

    The young are the new poor

    Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty